Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Parental Leave

I have been on parental leave since 12/15.
The university is closed between 12/24 and 1/1.
I plan to resume to work on 1/5.

Friday, December 26, 2014

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Saku Bryan Nozaki

Saku was born on December 14, 2014.


More photos and videos are available at my website.

$2.17

Gas price dropped to $2.17 per gallon in Macomb.
I think we may see $1.99 per gallon this winter.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Gas Price Map

Here is a website which shows gas price map in Illinois.
Or course, you may check other states as well.
Here is a chart of gas price in Peoria for the last ten years.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Adocado and Smoked Oyster

There are two favorite foods I recently found!
They both are inexpensive and healthy.
I could eat them every day :)

Sunday, November 2, 2014

ILGISA Annual Conference

The conference was held from October 27 to 29.
I could take Amtrak to Naperville and a shuttle bus to the hotel.
Chad and I presented a session "Developing Mobile GIS Applications" on Tuesday.
On the third day, my two-year term for the board member ended.
I would be able to spend more time preparing for Saku's birth.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Pickleball

I started playing pickeball at YMCA.
People play for one hour on Tuesday and Thursday.
It is a combination of tennis and badminton.
Here are the rules.

Drury Inn

This is absolutely our favorite hotel so far.
In addition to hot breakfast, the hotel provides complimentary dinner including up to 3 alcohol beverages.
There is a DVD player in each room, and we enjoyed watching own movies as well as cable TVs.
We strongly recommend Drury Inn.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Election

Abby was elected for a director on the board for Georgetown Homeowner's Association.
I am proud of my wife.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Georgetown Homeowner's Association

Georgetown Homeowner's Association is looking for three directors.
Abigail is one of the candidates for three positions.
I hope she will be elected.

Sola turned 3 years old !

We had his birthday party at our house last Saturday.
Sola was able to play with his cousin and friend in the basement.
Photos and videos are available at the website.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Back to Google Chrome

I have used Mozilla Firefox for a while and realized the browser is no longer appealing to me.
Firefox tends to consume lots of memory and crash more than expected.
For both home and office computers, I installed Google Chrome which seems to run faster and more stable.

Monday, September 8, 2014

Walgreens and County Market

Even though I don't like these stores very much, they sometimes offer big discounts.
Their ads and coupons are available on the website.
While Walgreens tends to discount milk, eggs, paper towels, and toilet paper, County Market is likely to sell meats especially chicken for less.

Monday, September 1, 2014

History of Shinkansen (Bullet Train)

This website shows a route from Tokyo to Osaka.
It usually takes 2 hours and 25 minutes with a maximum speed of 270 km per hour.
English version will be available later.

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Powerwash

We hired someone to powerwash our house in early August.
The house looks pretty clean now :)
A wood desk was also powerwashed, and I plan to paint when the weather gets nicer.
It has been raining almost every other day.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Saku

The baby's name was announced on July 1.
But I forgot to mention how to write his name in Japanese.
野崎 朔久
のざき さく

Friday, August 22, 2014

Diet Pepsi Caffeine Free

I got this drink from American Culture Night we attended yesterday.
Here is a formula.
Pepsi - Sugar - Caffeine = do not drink
Thank you.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Siouxland Trip

We have visited several friends in Siouxland.
For five days, we drove over 1800km (1100mi).
The states we passed were Illinois, Iowa, Nebraska, South Dakota, and Missoiuri.
People we met include the Versches in Council Bluffs, the Alexanders in Onawa, Tom in Sioux City, the Gendeys in Sioux Falls, Tracy in Sioux City, the Laffeys in Onawa, Debbie in Onawa, and Mr. Warren in Onawa.
Photos and video are available on my website.

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Mitsuwa Marketplace

The first time to visit Mitsuwa Marketplace in Chicago!
The store was packed due to the Japanese festival outside.
Alan and AJ also joined and seemed to enjoy a lot.
However, it was very hot outside.
There are photos and video available at Picasa,
I was very shocked at the price.
The price was definitely twice or three times more expensive than the average price in Japan.
I wonder how Japanese Americans would afford that.
We bought soft drinks(ジャスミン茶、カルピス), Sola's favorite snacks (ベジたべる), ramen noodles(サッポロ一番みそラーメン), and bean sprouts(もやし).

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Mozilla Firefox

Firefox crashed my computer several times.
Once switched to Google Chrome, the problem was solved.
Chad would be happy to hear that (he is a big Google fan).

Monday, July 28, 2014

San Diego Trolley

The trolley was very convenient.
I did not have to drive for five days.
From the airport, I took a bus to the downtown.
It took only 15 minutes and cost only $2.25.
From the downtown, I purchased a one day pass ($5).
Both the hotel and convention center are located near the train station.
Train comes every 15 minutes during day and 30 minutes off prime time.
I enjoyed the train ride and miss Tokyo.

DoubleTree by Hilton

I stayed at DoubleTree in San Diego Mission Valley for five days.
The hotel is in front of the train station, but there were coulple issues during the stay.
1. There was noise from the wall.  The enginner found it was caused by the neighbor's AC and there was nothing he could do.  I was not able to sleep well due to the noise.
2. Wireless Internet was down on the last day.  Promotion code was expired for some reason.  Instead of giving me a new code, the front staff kept tellinig me it should work.  I could not check e-mail on the day.
Esri selected this hotel with a conference rate, I would not stay again.
Neither breafast nor Internet was included in the plan.
The hotel seems to care for brand rather than service.

Friday, July 25, 2014

Southwest Airlines

It was my first time to fly Southwest Airlines.
I found a non-stop flight from STL to SAN for the reasonable price.
Both flights were full due to the conference.
Online check-in was easy, but non-reserved seats did not seem fair.
Although it was fortunate for me to find the aisle seat, not everyone could check-in exact on 24 hours advance.
Snacks and drinks are decent, and I would rate Southwest Airlines as B.

Friday, July 18, 2014

2014 Esri User Conference

I attended the conference in San Diego from July 13 to 18.
In addition to Esri Japan employees, I saw Caleb and Derek who are a former student from the GIS Center.
I learned a lot from technical workshops and exhibits and was surprised to see about15,000 people at the conference.
It was also fun to take a train around the city.

Friday, July 4, 2014

Verizon Wireless

We found a better plan for our cell phone.
It is now $65 per month including unlimited text messages!

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Thuderstorms

Macomb missed thunderstorms in the last couple weeks.
But it hit us finally today!
More rain and lower temperature would help our plants growing.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Garlic Chives (Nira)

It has been growing well so far.
I added more soil and water (from rain).


Saturday, June 7, 2014

Toilet tank

Abby found minor leaks from the toilet tank.
It was not covered by our home warranty, and I attempted to repair last Sunday.
I first watched YouTube videos and memorized the procedures.
All I did was removing severely rusted screws and installing new ones I bought at Walmart.
Even though it took about one hour due to the tight space, it cost less than $5 for repair.

Rich moving

We visited Rich yesterday.
He is moving to a new apartment in Lake Saint Louis today.
The GIS Center will miss Rich, but I am happy for him to get a job in the GIS industry.
Both Ryan and Rich will be working in the same company again.

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Graduation Photo

Donghee took this photo.
I still look young.

Adoption

It has been twice Abby was asked if she adapted Sola.
I hope people will not ask such a question.
Sola looks like his mommy as well.

Google Maps

I noticed that Google Maps has been updated recently.
Although additional functions were added, the applicaton is pretty heavy.
I started using Bing Maps by Microsoft which is relatively light.
I have not tested Yahoo Maps or Mapquest.
Let's see which one will survive in the future.

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Google Earth

I started sharing hiking maps in the kmz format.
Google Earth is required to open this file.
I hope you will enjoy the maps.

Quincy, IL

We visited Quincy on Saturday.
After having lunch at Ruby Tuesdays, we hiked around Sunset Park near the downtown.
We also went to Wakonda State Park in La Grange but did not like the environment.
The last place we stopped was Menards, and it was an easy drive from Macomb to Quincy on IL Highway 336.

Veterans Park

Veterans Park is the most recent park developed by Macomb Park District.
The park is not well known, and we enjoy hiking in the quiet area.
Pushing Sola in the stroller, we walked about 2.3 miles.

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Geode State Park and Burlington Bees

We had a wonderful trip on Saturday!
At Geode State Park, we hiked from the beach at the lake to the campground (almost 3 miles - Google Earth).
The park is well maintained even though the waste water system is temporally down, it would be fun to camp there in the future.
After having dinner at Culver's, we watched the Burlington Bees baseball game.
It was one of the best games we watched (of course, the home team won).
We enjoyed a lot and got home little after 9pm.



Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Graduation Ceremony

Rich and Donghee will graduate this semester.
It is nice to see two student employees in the GIS Center completing the master's program.
I was invited to attend the ceremony on Friday.

Saturday, May 3, 2014

13 Assassins (2010 film)

While Abby went to the scrapbook club in Bushnell, I watched Samurai movie called 13 Assassins.
The story is pretty good but rated R due to the action.
It reminded me Seven Samurai and Last Samurai.

Monday, April 28, 2014

Easter & Wedding

We visited Saint Louis to spend Easter holiday with family and attended friend's wedding.
Abby and I had a train trip to Springfield, IL and walked around tourist spots in the downtown.
Sola enjoyed seeing animals including sea lion and rode a train at the zoo.
It was a wonderful week!

Friday, April 18, 2014

Playground

A playground in Georgetown was full of children due to the nice weather.
Sola enjoyed climbing a rock wall and going down a slide.
We are visiting family and friends in Saint Louis next week.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Portable keyboard

I bought a portable keyboard for my android tablet.
This device makes it easier for me to type.
It was only $19.99 with good reviews.                                                                                                                                                                          

Mashed potatoes

Abby made 4 cups of mashed potatoes for dinner.
That was for Sola and I.
However, Sola ate about 3/4 of the dish.
I am glad I had rice as a backup.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Courtyard by Marriott

We stayed at this hotel during AJ's birthday party.
3 star hotel usually provides better facilities but does not incude complimentary breakfast.
Even coffee in the lobby area is additional charge.
We would not stay again unless there is a great deal with the price.
It was only $63 per night with advance purchase.

Pasta

Abby and I both agreed that Barilla is a brand we would like to have.
Today, we had thin spaghetti-veggie for the first time.
This pasta contains zucchini and spinach.
It was not only delicious but healthy.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Gas price

Surprisingly, Macomb had the lowest gas price in the state of Illinois last weekend.
While $3.89 per gallon around Schamburg, it was only $3.39 per gallon.
I do not know why but surely got a full tank.
Price went up to twenty cents couple days later.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Success

The weekend was successful.
We picked up the student on Friday afternoon and spent lots of time chatting about cultural differences between China and the United States.
At the Kiddie Festival on Saturday, Sola was able to play many games at the YMCA gym.
Of course, we all enjoyed Chinese dishes at Hibachi Grill Buffet.
She returned to the dorm on Sunday afternoon and plans to stay in the United States another week.
It was a wonderful experience for all of us, and I greatly appreciate my wife's support.

Friday, March 21, 2014

Host Family

We are going to host a student from Shanghai this weekend.
It is our first experience, and we are both excited and anxious.
Meeting at the orientation last Monday, she seems friendly.
Due to her limited English skills, Google Translator may be used if necessary.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Spring is coming slowly

We started hiking with Sola when the weather is nice.
Since the ground is still muddy, we decided to walk on the WIU campus, Spring Lake, and Lake Argyle.
After walking/running for 30 to 60 minutes, Sola usually gets very tired as shown on the following photos.




Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles

I found this TV series on Amazon Prime (2 seasons and 31 episodes).
The story takes place between Terminator 2 and 3, and a new type of cyborg (TOK-715, T-888, and T-1001) appears.
My favorite character is Cameron.
The story is very addictive, and I am allowed to watch up to two episodes a day.





Sunday, March 2, 2014

Japanese Song for Abby (from Dragon Quest - Anime)


Long Way Home (begins around 3:35)
勝生真沙子


溢れる陽溜まりの中で
口ゲンカ繰り返す

肩をいからせたふたりを
タンポポの綿毛が笑ってた

遠い記憶は今でも
胸の奥で 光ってる

崩れ落ちた廃墟だとしても
南風はきっと吹くはず

あの日に帰れる翼を広げて
この大空を飛びたい

Long Way Home
Long Way Home
Afureru Hidamari no Nakade
Kuchigenka Kurikaesu

Kata wo Ikaraseta Futari wo
Tanpopo no Watage ga Waratteta

Tooi Kiwoku wa Itsudemo
Muneno Nakade Hikatteru

Kuzure Ochita Haikyo Dato Shitemo

Minamikaze wa Kitto Fukuhazu



Anohini Kaereru Tsubasa wo Hirogete

Kono Ozora wo Tobitai



Long Way Home
Long Way Home

Friday, February 28, 2014

World Buffet

While Sola's grandmother visiting,  we drove to Galesburg in the afternoon.
After getting his clothes at the consignment store, we had dinner at World Buffet.
The dishes were fresh and delicious.
We will definitely go there again!

Friday, February 21, 2014

Walking

We walked around Georgetown in the afternoon.
Now the national weather service issued flood warning along the lamoine river.
We saw Wigwam Hallow Rd was closed due to the flood.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Outside finally




Temperature rose to 11C, and we went outside in the late afternoon.
Due to the muddy ground by melting snow, we decided to walk around the campus.
As well as sidewalks, Sola enjoyed climbing up and down stairs in the library and student union.

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Inai Inai Bah

This is one of Sola's favorite songs in the TV show.

 

Please visit Picasa (Photo 69 of 70) to see how Sola sings and dances.

Spaghetti

Our favorite spaghetti is Barilla.
County Market sold 1lb for 77 cents, and we went to Walmart and price matched.
We bought enough packages which would last for weeks.

Light Sesame Ginger

I found my favorite salad dressing at Aldi.
It reminds Chinese salad dressing in Japan.

Monday, January 20, 2014

Sola's tablet

He got a new tablet from his grandparents.
It is called InnoTab 3S.
As well as educational apps, it is possible to play songs and videos.
However, it is not easy to load them to the device.
After spending couple days, I figured out.

<Notes>
1. Download and install Media Coder.
2. Load video and select AVI (refer YouTube).
3. Set the following parameters and convert. (I saved configuration files)

Hibachi Grill Buffet

Asian Buffet came back with a new management and changed its name to Hibachi Grill Buffet.
Dishes seem more fresh, and Abby enjoyed American style sushi.
$6.99 for lunch is not bad, and I will give a grade of B-.


Sunday, January 19, 2014

Microwave Sparks

Abby recently saw sparks when cooking in the microwave.
I did some research and fixed a problem for few dollars.
1. Clean the microwave thoroughly.
2. Unplug and remove a waive guide cover.
3. Buy a cheap one from Amazon (Example)
4. Cut the cover with a pair of scissors.
5. Insert the new one.

New Tires

Cobalt got new tires at Walmart today.
Staff initially told me a waiting time would be around 3 hours, but it was done in one hour.
Even though they are a standard type, I could tell a difference when driving and felt like I got new shoes on my feet.

Friday, January 17, 2014

Traffic Cone

I may be workaholic since this image no longer means a traffic corn to me.
VLC Player is powerful software (free).




Team Umizoomi

Sola likes to watch Team Umizoomi.
Look at a character in the middle.

He reminds me Android logo.
Am I nerd?





Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Amazon Prime 2

After free trial, we are very satisfied and decided to continue the service.
Even though annual subscription is required,  it is only $6.50 per month.

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Warm

It finally got warm (10C) today, and we went to Lake Argyle.
In addition to hiking, Sola enjoyed  making a snowman with his mommy.


Tuesday, January 7, 2014

New TV

JVC 39 inch TV has arrived home!
It is larger but lighter than the previous one.
Also energy efficient :)

Monday, January 6, 2014

-24C

I experienced -24C with windchill -36C.
With layers with clothes, I cleaned snow on cars and started the engine.

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Donghee

He is one of my students from South Korea working in the GIS Center.
Even though people tend to struggle pronouncing his name, Sola mastered after spending couple hours with him and his wife.
Here is a sound clip.

Genki Japan

Abby and Sola visit this website to learn Japanese language.
They offer interesting music videos.
Here is a website.

Snow storm again again

The majority of the roads in Illinois was covered with snow.


There is windchill warning from tonight to tomorrow morning.
It will get as low as -35C to -40C :(

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Coke Zero

Since the previous trip to Japan, Abby and I are both like Coke Zero.
It is less calorie than Coca Cola but tastes better than Diet Coke.